And we can be sure that we know him if we obey his commandments. If someone claims, “I know God,” but doesn’t obey God’s commandments, that person is a liar and is not living in the truth. But those who obey God’s word truly show how completely they love him. That is how we know we are living in him. Those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did. 1 John 2:3-6
I couldn’t help but get a little bit anxious as I read that last sentence…those who say they live in God should live their lives as Jesus did. That’s impossible, right? I’ve never once been able to live as Jesus had. How could I ever do this? It seems like a pretty high expectation – one I could never hope to achieve.
But as I took a moment to think about it, and to pray about how on earth one is supposed to do this, I was reminded that our salvation does not automatically take away all temptation. When we make the decision to believe, it does not make every other good choice easy.
We have to make a concious effort to love, to be kind, to show compassion, and to put others before ourselves. At first, I thought that if I have to force it, it can’t be real. But we do have to force it. We have to make the distinct choice and take physical action to walk away from wickedness and choose righteousness. That in itself is denying our sinful nature, spurning the devil, and choosing Christ. And it is through Christ alone that we have the strength to do so.
For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12 NLT